An Open Letter to Hawaii Politicians about Agricultural Technology

Dear Governor, Legislators, Senators, Representatives, County Council Members, City Council Members,

I am writing to you as a daughter of a long time farmer, Kenneth Kamiya.  Our family has been long time farmers for over 4 decades on the Windward side on Oahu.  My grandfather farmed the land with beans, Okinawan potatoes, cucumbers and finally papaya, which my dad and brother continue to this day.  I am asking for your support in these contentious times of dealing with the issue of agricultural technology, specifically GMOs.

The First Kamiya Farmers

I speak out not only for our family but for all other families in our islands who use this technology to run the farms that they do.  Our state cannot afford to be left behind because of the maligned fears of the public of this technology.  You as a leader also have to be able to separate fears created by the black marketing strategies and consider the evidence that is presented.  That is your responsibility to us as your constituents, even though the farmers and ranchers make up 1-2% of the public.  Those are the voices that should ring loud and clear in your minds.

What does the evidence show us?  Worldwide, there is a consensus that biotechnology is safe.  Read below for the worldwide organizations that have made statements about biotechnology in food:


Given this evidence, will you accept what the worldwide scientific community states?  Or will you fall prey to the fear mongering of the environmentalists and the organic industry’s tactics like this:

facemaskScreen shot 2013-06-29 at 9.45.24 PMscaremongering

The public sure has become beleaguered with fear which is evident when you see these kind of events happening across our islands:

Screen shot 2013-06-29 at 6.04.11 PM protest

The same people that join in these protests are so fear mongered that they have even done this to farmers or anyone who speaks out for biotechnology:

KB crop destructor  DF fertilizer momi LM


namastestpeh MV RGV tw2 tw TC manaai agroterrorism

Activist groups too are guilty of promoting hate and crop destruction as in this meme from the Babes Against Biotech with Roseanne Barr’s quote:

babs crop destruction

Notice how much hate there is because fear has made many people irrational already.  Ignorance is evident here in many of these comments.  And it’s not pretty to be at the receiving end of it.

We know that many of you have become the receiving end of these activists, especially the Babes Against Biotech who went after Senator Nishihara last year.  We know that many of you have also been portrayed as targets too.

nishihara target

As a result, not many people want to speak out for agricultural technology here and when you do, many times, you get threats like this sent to you.  Here’s one I personally received a few days ago:

Screen shot 2013-09-28 at 2.49.19 PMmike strange

Or you might get called a name or something, but it doesn’t bother me for I know what the truth is:

tokyo rose

So when leaders like you decide to reject the evidence presented, you are feeding and fueling fear.  This same fear happens because so many people have little to no knowledge about agriculture or the technology around it.  They may be loud and demanding but you must also listen to the quiet ones who toil in the fields every day.  My family like so many others are just regular people who want to have access to the tools to do the job we have at hand, which is to feed people the best way possible.

Kenneth Kamiya, my dad

Kenneth Kamiya, my dad

When it comes time to listening to your constituents, all I ask is that you listen to your most valuable ones.  The farmers!


Joni Rose

The Hawaii Farmer’s Daughter


9 thoughts on “An Open Letter to Hawaii Politicians about Agricultural Technology

  1. Thank you for telling the sordid story that many of us have been living.

    And it’s even worse than your description….the public’s peace of mind is being undermined by mainland activists to further their agenda to ban GMOs. On Kauai, families are being torn apart, as those who work for the seed companies are demonized, while confused friends and relatives wonder if the rhetoric might be true.

    Despite the nearly pristine environment on Kauai and all data to the contrary, many community members have been convinced by activists that it is now deadly to drink the water and breathe the air. They are being led to believe that any illnesses they have are attributable to GMOs, and the farmers that grow genetically engineered crops. This is a volatile and extremely dangerous situation that is out of control. Swift and thoughtful intervention by State and community leaders is necessary NOW, before violence against farmers themselves occurs.

    • Sasha, you are hitting the nail right on the head. Where’s the leadership here to guide folks to the evidence and stop this mass hysteria turning people like raving, irrational, fear mongered citizens? It’s gone. We can no longer sit back and ignore the ugliness that farmers are going through and it is time to expose this stuff. The people who have spoken out about biotech and science are subject to the nasty comments and are prime targets. That is not the aloha spirit at all. Then when you go back and expose this kind of stuff, you’re accused of no aloha. But hey, who posted this stuff on the social media to begin with? Um, it was you folks, the anti-GMO crowd. No more ignoring it because more and more people are finding this to be okay which it is not.

      Time to speak out and point out what’s wrong with this whole situation so that we can make for a better one!

  2. Pingback: Tokyo Rose and the “Antagonizing” of Bryna Storch | HawaiiFarmersDaughter

  3. Well said. I’ve been thinking about calling out certain advocates and activists for hate speech. What is going on in Hawaii is a tragic example right now, but it is broader than that. I spent a week last summer on Kauai at the invitation of the Hawaii Crop Improvement Association trying to calm the fears stoked by the supporters of bill 2491. Sad to see yesterday that blatant politically maneuvering over-rode the quite rational veto by the Mayor. Historically the most effective strategy of those wanting to generate hate is to depersonalize the target. What you are doing to put a face on Hawaii farming is the best possible response. As a tiny minority in a well-fed society, the farming community needs a more visible public identity. I’ve shared this post on Twitter because I think its important (@grapedoc)

    Steve Savage, agricultural scientist, California

    • I totally agree that this small and vocal minority is slowly eroding at our farmers and the local ways of doing things. We can’t ignore these folks any more when it comes into making laws. Rational thoughts, critical thinking, and evidence must make laws not activists relying on bullying and disrespect.

  4. I had no idea how volitile things were in Hawaii. Although I have never bought into the intransient fear of biotechnology that is propogated by groups, I have been somewhat tolerant supposing that it is perhaps not a totally bad thing for society to have skeptical elements to raise appropriate questions and concerns. Typically, these concerns are foundationless or exaggerated distortions, but the fact that they are raised and refuted does eventually give us more solid confidence that we can use the technology safely and wisely.

    But the hatred that Hawaii is now mired in is a GMO – A “Greenpeace Manufactured Outrage.” It is evident that NGO’s inciting the fear and hatred that is being manifested in Hawaii are not content to play what could be a valuable and legitimate role in moderating society’s incorporation of progressive answers to problems. No, they are intent on imposing a dogmatic order, to become the defacto arbiters of society, to usurp intellect and ingenuity for self aggrandizing control. Greenpeace will only be happy if they relegate you to subsistance farming that are ornaments in their paternalistic order.

  5. Pingback: No Aloha GMO Free Kauai: Go Use the Nazis! | Aole GMO Means Aole Aloha

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